National and Senior TAG Endurance 4 Hours
The two leading National endurance teams arrived in Lincolnshire separated by a handful of points as the seven race championship enters the second half. It was National Superstock 600 rider Jon Railton, who less than a week ago was racing at Cadwell in the BSB series, who set pole on his Ducks Cross Racing R6 (Jon Railton/Martin Landmann) at 1m 36.442s which was more than half a second ahead of 2007 champions GB Moto (Mark Smith Halvorsen/Mick Godfrey/R1) and current Junior TAG champions Trackcraft (Mark Linscott/Mike Dickinson) who were a tenth of a second further down the cut.
Making their Senior debut were GBMoto Senior (Phill Clarke/Grant & Helen Gaskin) who were over a second faster than current title leaders Sweatshop Moores Racing 2 (Hugh Brasher, Rod Lynn/James Hurrell). Cadwell marked the largest entry of the season and some riders and teams were contesting the four hour race, having only completed the two hour version half an hour before the start of the National and Senior TAG Endurance race.
Other regulars in the Junior championship who ‘stepped up to the plate’ at Cadwell were: S and P Racing who included the flying doctor Hazel Drury, Team SOBER (Junior TAG winners with Mark Linscott in 2007) and Team Throttle Monkey. All Jon's best endeavours turned to dust as his drive chain broke only metres away from the Le Mans start, this resulted in 20 minutes being spent rectifying the problem before the young rider ventured back into the fray.
From the start it was Trackcraft, GBMoto and Sweatshop Moores who established themselves as top dogs, trading fastest times and positions at the front. This followed a very early appearance by Dave Mabbutt in the pace car to enable marshals to recover debris from Charlies and Mansfield and for CEMAN Racing to push back into the pits from Barn Corner.
Another faller was First Form Racing (Paul Robey/Jay Smith) who's Kawasaki ZX10R spilt at the chicane after Gooseneck - the green meanie soon pitted and was back on it's way. By the forty minute mark only the leading trio were on the same lap, seven minutes later Mark Linscott was off at the chicane requiring the pace car to make another appearance whilst rider and machine were tidied up, Mark was later dispatched to nearby Louth for a check up and thankfully was back at the track for prize giving time.
After an hour Sweatshop Moores held a lap over GBMoto with Darkside Endurance (Andy Buik/Darren Jones/Kevin Upstone/R6) in close company a lap ahead of White Tiger Racing (Nigel Bryan/Ash Joice/Chris Lang), Team Viking (Paul Clarke/Crispin d'Albertanson/Barry Salmon/Hon600), Moores Racing (Tony Jimenez/Mike Eglington/Jim Agombar/R6) and A&G Racing (Gary Jones/Mark Affleck).
During the second hour GBMoto had taken the lead, Sweatshop Moores' Rod Lynn had spent too much time in the saddle following a frustrating Manx Grand Prix visit and Mick 'Juan' Dickenson was going solo on his Trackcraft R1 whilst riding partner Linscott was away receiving medical attention - as long as Mike observed the rest periods as prescribed in the technical regulations, a finish looked possible.
Half distance reported that GBMoto, using only two riders for this 'short' race, enjoyed a two lap advantage over champ rivals Sweatshop Moores who were two laps ahead of a trio of 600 runners - Darkside, Viking, and Moores. A further lap down were Throttle Monkey 72 Senior 1000 (Andy McKnight/Eric Chitty/Kevin Doughty) who were hoping to wrap up their championship today needing a mere ten points, White Tiger and series newcomers Paul Gaskin Racing (Dean Brown/Paul Gaskin/ZX6). Back in the pits to retire for good was Ducks Cross whose original chain break had caused other problems for the rear wheel, with the spare bike back in the paddock (remember - this circuit configuration means we were all living on an island for the afternoon!) - it was game over for the blue and yellow Yamaha.
Third man Grant Wagstaff didn’t even make the grid – recently he fell out of a tree damaging his arm + ego – doh! Really making their mark in the third hour were the Throttle Monkeys who had worked their way up to a solid fourth spot and were chasing down Darkside with some gusto in their bid to make the 2008 Senior TAG title their own.
With the final fifteen minutes of the race to run it was still close on the road for a number of teams keen on picking up places which saw Moores Racing narrowly overtake the Throttle Monkey boys. SMF Racing (Paul Rogers/Simon Fenwick/Mike Ashton) overhauled White Tiger for seventh spot and further down the field A&G made up a place, their afternoon included Gary Jones discovering a much slower rider whilst coming over the Mountain resulting in taking the grass in a horizontal fashion and testing out the effectiveness of the crash bungs!
The ever helpful Fraser Greenroyd was able to turn his speed gun away from the pit lane for a few moments and recorded some random speeds across the start/finish line showing Sweatshop Moores 129mph, GBMoto 126mph, SOBER 123mph and TM 72 122mph – these were a tad slower than the Juniors who raced earlier in the day and all the speeds were taken at a time when there were no yellows being shown around the course.
At the conclusion of this fantastic race; GBMoto took a well deserved win with three laps over nearest championship rivals, Sweatshop Moores, Darkside will have been pleased with their podium place ahead of Moores Racing with an ecstatic Throttle Monkey 72 Racing - closing the top six were Team Viking who worked very hard for a third in class to finish on the same lap as newcomers SMF Racing.
With an eye to the championship points and the remaining two rounds – it’s really open at the front between Sweatshop Moores Racing 2 and GBMoto setting an exciting stage for Mallory in two weeks time and Silverstone in October. Series newcomers, TM 72 have won their championship – a tribute to their season long professionalism partnered with fast and consistent riding and the hard working Black Flag Racing are now the 2008 Senior 600 TAG Endurance champions.
Results 1 GBMoto* 138 laps 2 Sweatshop Moores Racing 2 135 laps 3 Darkside Endurance* 132 laps 4 Moores Racing 131 laps 5 TM72 Racing* 131 laps 6 Team Viking 130 laps 7 SMF Racing 130 laps 8 White Tiger Racing 129 laps 9 Paul Gaskin Racing 129 laps 10 Team Throttle Monkey 128 laps 11 S and P Racing 128 laps 12 Team SOBER 126 laps 13 CEMAN Racing 126 laps 14 Black Flag Racing* 124 laps 15 A & G Racing 124 laps 16 GBMoto Senior 123 laps 17 AMA Racing 107 laps 18 Trackcraft 98 laps 19 Ducks Cross 70 laps 20 First Form Racing 31 laps * denotes class winners Fastest Lap GBMoto 1m 36.367s
Junior TAG Endurance 2 Hours
sorrymate.com (Craig Sproston/Bruce Wilson/Junior 600) were able to turn their well earned pole, over 0.6 seconds ahead of current championship leaders Trackcraft (Mark Linscott/Mike Dickenson/Junior 1000) into first on the road in the early stages of this two hour race from endurance debutants Pringle Racing (Ian Roebuck/Keith Pringle) and series regulars and serious contenders Co-Ordit Racing (Dave Wardle/Ian Walker).
Trackcraft experienced a catastrophic start from the grid but had soon worked themselves up to a handy third place and by the forty minute mark they were leading. Just before the half way mark MC Racing (Mark Wadeson/Jason McKinnon) fell at the Gooseneck and third placed Co-Ordit were handed a one minute stop-go penalty in the pit box which effectively dropped the down the field by two laps and down to sixth as a rash of planned pit stops occurred.
Trackcraft were able to pit at sixty minutes and return to the track without losing their leading position - yet to be displaced Co-Ordit were second and Billericay Coachworks (Kevin Maxted/Tim Gorringe) who have always been heading in the right direction were third ahead of sorrymate.com and the Pringles.
Rounding out the top spots were Freaks of Nature Too (Mark Whiston/Mark Nixon) and GBMoto Junior (Phill Clarke/Danny Brill). In the second half of the race nobody was able to approach or threaten Trackcraft on their pair of well prepared Yamaha R1s - the team now enjoying increased involvement by Pirelli who are looking at the partnership with Trackcraft in the Hottrax series to use and evaluate tyres, learning and developing products throughout the season.
A fantastic second spot went to Fergus Dalgarno's sorrymate.com line up of riders he sponsors at National 600 Superstock level which includes bike journo Bruce Wilson, they were less than a minute behind the leading crew. A well deserved third went to Co-Ordit who rode hard and were slick in their pit work to amass some more silverware and championship points.
Billericay Coachworks were fourth only ten seconds away from the crew in front but a lap ahead of Freaks of Nature Too and Pringle Racing - completing the top six in the Junior 1000 class were The Gas Doctors (Derek Gulbrandsen/Steve Griffiths).
GBMoto kept out of trouble and rode well to finish in seventh on the road and second in class, third Junior 600 team were Pit Stop Racing (Peter and Marc Dilks) ahead of ETA Racing (Ian Courts/Darren Brearley), NA Racing (Anthony Burman/Nathan Horsfield) and DNR Motorsport (Richard Payne/Dave Brooking). To demonstrate how close this type of racing is, after two hours; first and second were only 40 seconds apart, they were a Junior 1000 and a 600 machine.
In the top 14 overall no less than seven riders were on the same lap and separated by a mere 60 seconds and two Junior 600 teams produced the fastest laps of the race ahead of that set by the winning Trackcraft team. Fraser G was out and about with his speed gun and clocked some teams riding past the pits; Trackcraft 133mph, Co-Ordit 131mph, sorrymate.com 127mph and GBMoto Junior 118mph, conditions were warm and dry.
Results Junior 1000 1 Trackcraft * 71 laps 2 Co-Ordit Racing 70 laps 3 Billericay Coachworks 70 laps 4 Freaks of Nature Too 69 laps 5 Pringle Racing 69 laps 6 The Gas Doctors 67 laps 7 Crisis Racing 67 laps 8 Spellfame Racing 67 laps 9 MIB 65 laps 10 Advance Bike Shipping 65 laps 11 Rawlings Racing 65 laps 12 Rabbitt Racing 61 laps 13 SOBER 61 laps 14 Team Tortoise 61 laps 15 Name With Held 60 laps 16 Pirate Racing 60 laps 17 Freaks of Nature 56 laps 18 MC Racing 46 laps * denotes class winner Fastest Lap Trackcraft 1m 36.993s Junior 600 1 sorrymate.com * 71 laps 2 GBMoto Junior 68 laps 3 Pit Stop Racing 67 laps 4 ETA Racing 67 laps 5 NA Racing 67 laps 6 DNR Motorsport 67 laps 7 RC Racing 66 laps 8 TM 72 Juniors 65 laps 9 Dos Cerdo De Sidra 64 laps 10 Gasi Racing 64 laps 11 Demonbikes.com 64 laps 12 Team Monkey 6 61 laps 13 I.E. Motorsport 56 laps * denotes class winner Fastest Lap sorrymate.com 1m 36.336s